The overlords of the web are set to launch a Wiki of their own
I was at the Google Christmas drinks last night – and while I can't tell you anything about that (we had to sign a non-disclosure agreement), I can bring news of Knoll – Google's latest attempt to conquer the whole of webdom.
"There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it" says Ubi Manber, VP Engineering at Google. Ah, sounds a little familiar...
Apparently the Google tool, which stands for "unit of all knowledge" has some key differences from Wikipedia. It's much more author-based for a start – "Books have authors' names right on the cover, news articles have bylines, scientific articles always have authors – but somehow the web evolved without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted." says Ubi on the Google blog.
"We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content. Google will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, and it will provide free hosting of the content. Writers only need to write; we'll do the rest."
Google will eventually present "knolls" as part of their search results. So if you search for "badger breeding in the West Country" you'll get the most relevant articles by leading authorities on the subject, complete with star rating. Interestingly, Google say that there will be no moderation on their part, although they will rank the knolls when they appear in Google search.
The project is still in development and invitation-only, but eventually any knoll uses will be able to rate content and add comments, questions and edits. We can't wait to see what "interesting" knolls that'll evolve after launch. Remember – as Wikipedia soon found out – there are a lot of people out there with a lot of time on their hands that believe a whole lot of rubbish...